No consolation for Jagan

By T S Sudhir

Astute politician that he was, Y S Rajasekhara Reddy would not have imagined his son would commit so many political blunders to make a mess of his legacy. In nine months, Jagan has reduced himself from a CM aspirant to a prickly dissident. Someone who has, either because of rank bad advice or a bloated ego, failed to convert the goodwill for him into political capital.

After his tour last week to Warangal district, against the wishes of the Congress leadership, ended up in a messy law and order situation at Mahbubabad railway station, Jagan was persuaded to go to Delhi and mend fences with the power-that-be. Instead he returned to find himself in a deeper mess in the cesspool of Indian politics.

On Tuesday morning, Jagan met Veerappa Moily and came out to triumphantly announce that Moily had given the green signal for his `Odarpu’ (consoling) yatra in Rayalaseema and Andhra regions, while staying off Telangana. Seven hours later, as Jagan was in the airspace between Delhi and Hyderabad, Moily tore into Jagan’s soundbytes, saying Jagan had not been given permission to tour anywhere.

I met Jagan as soon as he reached his home in Hyderabad that night. Behind him was a portrait of a pensive YSR, almost as if he could hear us talk. Jagan bristled at the suggestion that he was not speaking the truth. “I am not a traditional politician. I have scruples. I have given word to those families who lost someone for my dad that I will come to visit and console them. Why should I be prevented from doing what a son should do for his father?” Jagan choked, very emotional.

His supporters claim a lot happened between 11am, when Jagan spoke to the media in Delhi and 6pm when Moily rebutted Jagan’s statement. All ministers who were in Hyderabad were asked to rush to the Secretariat and address the media and defend their boss K Rosaiah and refute Jagan’s claims that the government was responsible for what happened in Mahbubabad. Many of the thirteen who turned up, are known to be Jagan campers. At 4 pm, the state police chief was asked to do an encore.

The message to Jagan is loud and clear and the writing pretty much on the wall. Fall in line or invite disciplinary action. “He has been given a long rope because he is YSR’s son,” a senior Congress leader told me. “But there will be a point when Delhi will decide enough is enough.”

Crossing that bridge will not be easy for Delhi either. “Jagan today is both an asset and a liability to the Congress,” reasons Prof Nageshwar, MLC and political analyst. “He is still the biggest crowd puller the Congress has in Andhra Pradesh. But how long can the Congress high command tolerate his criticism of Rosaiah, who is their man. What does he achieve by letting his Sakshi newspaper and channel behave like a strident opposition party? The politically smart thing for Jagan to do would have been to behave as if Rosaiah is his man. And cultivate a direct line with 10 Janpath, which would have helped his cause.”

“I don’t have any friends in Delhi,” Jagan had admitted to me in September. Indeed, his 567 friends on Facebook interestingly include more names from the film world in Mumbai and Chennai than the political arena.

“The leaders in Delhi are targetting him because they are fed with misinformation about Jagan by an influential section of Congressmen from Andhra Pradesh,” argues a Jagan aide. He says Jagan did not hold the party to ransom even when 152 MLAs wanted him to be CM in September. So why would he try to commit political suicide now by harming the party when he knows he does not enjoy that kind of support anymore.

But Jagan’s temperament, coupled with an apparent rebellious streak and lack of political maturity has done zilch for his image. Delhi believes that he is a crying baby who wants the milk at the any cost.

So, is Jagan pushed to the wall in the Congress, running out of options?

His supporters in the Congress think Jagan would be foolish if he quits the party. They cite recent political history as proof that save a Sharad Pawar and a Mamata Banerjee, other heavyweights who quit their party like Uma Bharati or Kalyan Singh did not quite hit the jackpot. The risk of becoming another Lakshmi Parvati is too high.

It is also certain that if Jagan floats a party, very few will join him. Most Congressmen, particularly from the non-Telangana regions, prefer to sit on the fence, making only polite noises. In private, they admit being seen in Jagan’s company at this moment will be injurious to their political health.

Nageshwar points out another reason why Jagan will not call it quits. “He needs the support of the government to keep his politico-economic empire going because some of his businesses are built on shaky legal foundations. We have had the TDP attacking it full throttle in the past. He will find the going tough if the establishment decides to go after it. So his future political decision will have to factor his economic interests.”

Though it is early in the day for this first-time MP, Jagan needs to get out of his father’s shadow. Just like Rahul Gandhi, who does not invoke Rajiv’s name all the time, Jagan needs to evolve as a leader in his own right, even though for now, the YSR name remains his USP, perhaps his only trumpcard.

Jagan is due to tour Srikakulam from 8th June as part of the `Odarpu’ yatra. The Congress hopes he will not cross the laxman rekha and undertake the tour. Jagan has to only refer to mythology to know political Raavans are lurking in the shadows to abduct his chief ministerial dreams if he steps out of line. And Srikakulam to Hyderabad may prove to be Such a long journey.


You can also find T S Sudhir’s blogs at


About t s sudhir & uma sudhir

Uma Sudhir and T S Sudhir are senior journalists, based in Hyderabad. Both work for NDTV. Uma is a Tamilian, who was educated in
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20 Responses to No consolation for Jagan

  1. donny says:

    Jagan is in Facebook?
    Can you please confirm?

  2. Mady says:

    /*“I don’t have any friends in Delhi,” Jagan had admitted to me in September. Indeed, his 567 friends on Facebook interestingly include more names from the film world in Mumbai and Chennai than the political arena.*/

    sudhir to the most part your article is correct but looks like you have got one fact wrong. Jagan’s profile on facebook is a fake one. It would be nice if you could correct it..

    Coming to Jagan’s political future. There is no doubt that congress has only one hope in AP and that is Jagan for all practical purposes. I wish the so called High Command realizes the potential in jagan’s popularity. I fail to understand why HC thinks jagan’s popularity is different from that of Congress’. Whoever died for YSR are congress workers not tdp’s or bjps. I understand the implications of law and order in telangana because of this tour but whats the problem if he tours rest of andhra pradesh. And what connection does it have with elections to be held in telangana. In fact it will help congress in getting some extra votes in the elections from YSR fans. Congress will be at loosing end by alienating hardcore YSR fans in Telangana. Congress HC has to realize this fact.

  3. donny says:

    Jagan got irked of rosiah because the later cancelled the license of all gali janardhan reddy mines as soon as CBN requested.

    Rosiah is playing with fire, fire can only be stopped with water,if you try to stop fire with petrol, then it will burn itself and rosiah tooooo and congresss toooo!

  4. donny says:

    YSR = Don corleone
    Y.SJagan = Micheal Corleone

  5. Underhill says:

    All your point is Jagan should be a puppet in the hands of Delhi like Rosaiah…

    We hate it to the core

  6. RK says:

    When a batsman goes for a shot , he can either get out or hit a sixer.

    It is very easy to sit in the pavilion and comment on what he should have done.

    We need to be in his mind to understand the plethora of emotions that he goes through.

    That said, I think Jagan has maintained a dignified silence inspite of all the humiliations that he faced in the last 9 months.

    But if vested interests are working backdoors to crush his all moves, then obviously he will be looked at, as someone who is in a rush etc.

    Let the law of KARMA catch up and GOD BLESS YS Jagan.

  7. apsrtc says:

    excellent analysis.

  8. Ms. S.R says:

    Sudhir, if you have spent any time at all with Jagan you would understand that he is not your average politician. For him, as it was for his father, keeping up a commitment is more imp than doing the right thing politically. It was just thiis trait in his character that made YSR stand apart. He struggled for more than 20yrs, constantly fending off criticism from opponents in the opposition but mostly from within his own party. Finally he made a mark for himself and reached heights that others can only dream of.
    I don’t think Jagan has committed any blunders. He is following the dictates of his heart and hopefully he will find a place in the hearts of legions as his father did before him.

  9. i says:

    yes to maintain his sakshi paper news channel bharathi cements etc etc etc he has to continue in congress

  10. Well…Sudheer…how many politicians are active on Facebook? In my friends list, there is Nara Chandrababu Naidu — I think you too were added to the list a couple of days back. But, I am sure Mr. Naidu’s proxies or aides or fans must be running that.

    Anyway, the reference to FB is just a case in point that tries to establish that Jagan has more friends from fields other than politics.

    Aside from this, no comparison can be drawn between Rahul Gandhi and Jagan, for Rahul belongs to the “unofficial first family of the Congress” and Jagan doesn’t enjoy that status. Only one family thrives in the Congress at the helm. Ashok Chavan became the Chief Minister decades after his dad — S.B.Chavan — demitted the office, died and long forgotten. So Jagan cannot stake his claim for the pivotal job in the State as a matter of right (You also did not say that. I am just making a point).

    I see Jagan as having truly inherited the attitude of stoking rebellion from his father.

    We used to write “prominent dissident leader and Cuddapah (now Kadapa) MP Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy…” regularly in our news reports and Dr. Reddy used to have a hearty laugh initially and got used to it eventually.

    Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy encountered much more criticism than what Jagan is facing now. A lot of Congressmen surreptitiously support Jagan for reasons best known, but YSR did not have anything like that before becoming the Chief Minister.

    He had ‘tu…tu-mein…mein” relationship with a large number of Congress politicians who suddenly began singing halleluja to him as they understood that he had his way and say in choosing candidates for Assembly and to some extent Parliament.

    So Jagan and the Congress ‘High’ and ‘Low’ commands may have to continue to maintain their mutual ‘love-hate’ relationship for a longer time than expected, though I agree with Dr. Nageshwar that Jagan is the single most crowd-puller for the Congress.

    Rosaiah hit upon a jackpot in the unfortunate demise of the tallest leader of the day. No doubt. But he doesn’t ackonwledge that and cleverly attributes all credit to the late leader. After all, he passed through the rough and tumble of the profession of politics before being “gifted” the positions of a legislator (legislative council)…and also that of the Chief Minister.

    First one by YSR and the next by Madam Gandhi. Recall Srodhar’s cartoon — Gandhi Bhavan used to be christened after whichever ‘Gandhi’ is at the helm in the Congress, not the Father of the Nation.

    But if Jagan remains silent in the garb of maintaining restraint at least for sometime as advised by some Congressmen, well-wishers and the high command, he will be pushed into the oblivion and they will make sure that he becomes irrelevant forever.

    It is proved beyond doubt that he cannot be browbeaten or overawed.

    Either he succeeds in what he proposes to do (I am not at all supproting it because I have very serious reservations about ‘Odarpu Yatra’) or faces more resistance than expected, Jagan must not ignore this finer aspect of staying on in the news.

    If he reboots himself to prove a poingt that Rosaiah is his man, the Congressmen will eat away Jagan and belch loudly.

    And, Jagan’s mother is not APCC chief, like Rahul Gandhi’s mother who is the uncrowned Queen of the Congress. So Jagan has to take the name of his late father at the drop of the hat, lest he would be in deep soup. But, Rahul doesn’t have to do that.

    What is unfortunate in the whole show is that the main opposition party, the TDP, continues to be mired in internal bickering and Six years of joblessness too did not teach Mr. Naidu on how to set his house in order.

    Because, he usurped a position of power, but not that of the Leader of the Opposition. This was earned by him.

    Had his team of backroom boys been astute enough and he is himslef intelligent enough to pose so much threat to the Congress that he remains formidable, the Congressmen would have done the tightrope walk.

    But now, it is a political free for all now.

    • Neutral says:

      Next Elections are only by 2014 by that time people will
      ask who YSR, No point in this political gimmick now. Just
      sit and watch. Let him in mean time win more hearts
      in congress to take his words seriously

    • RK says:

      I agree with most of your comments. Yes HC is going to crush Jagan for ever until he proves himself as a puppet. Sorry .. if Jagan becomes puppet we don’t see a need to support Jagan .. Just waiting him to launch a new party ..

  11. ravinder says:

    Dear Sudhir

    HC playing politics with state after the demise of Dr YSR.
    like bifurcation,, backing kcr,,his hooligalism, damanging the image of hyderabad as investment capital
    and making a t-state as moist state.

    Do you have guts to question sonia (HC) on this ?
    Is Telugu state has become experimental ground for sonia and rahul.?
    Do you dare to write a column and print it in delhi media or channels so that sonia may open her eyes, and stop her dirty politics.

  12. nithin babu says:

    dear sudhir
    andhra pradesh is one of the largest states…….how many big states is congress ruling single handedly???? answer is none except andhra pradesh….that is only because of ysr….he defeated a shrewd ploitician like chandra babu naidu two times back to back single handedly…..ys jagan also contributed a lot to the success of congress in ap other than ysr…..ys jagan launched sakshi daily and sakshi tv at a time when entire media was acting against congress and was supporting chandrababu for obvious reasons……sakshi played a crucial part in the congress victory in ap…also ys jagan was the only leader from congress to campaign in the constituencies other than his own….logically speaking ys jagan only has the right to succeed his father….but high command ignored him and did not give him any post for nine moths….he patiently waited……he felt that he is not only being ignored by high command but alos several politicians are making a strategic campaign to malign ysr and also ys jagan…..he is a dynamic leader who sticks to his word just like his father…he is young he cannot wait for 20 years to be recognised by high command……if he starts a new party and work hard on peoples issues he can become an alternative to congress and become cm in 2014 elections…jagans party can surpass chandrababu naidus telugudesam….high command is making another blunder by not recgnising ys jagan…….the result will be taht congress party will become weak in ap like in tamil nadu and jagans party and telugudesam will be only two parties that will be left in ap

    • Prabu says:

      Yes. We want Jagan to come out of Congress I and start Congress Y. Come out Jagan. No more insults. We have to teach a lesson. Come out soon. Come out please.

    • Amar says:

      I completely agree with Sudheer. We should not believe Delhi, after 100 years also they dont like us.
      So, no point in wasting time being in congress and fighting with some useless guys. I f Jagan beleives that his services are needed to the state, then he has to listen to people nobody else.

  13. raja bommareddy says:

    It is ridiculous to say the current political warfare as ” many political blunders” its very very common phenomenon in the absence of strong leadership this sort of political fuss will arise, its history in Andhra congress under these old egoistic garbage floating on top leadership.

    It took for YSR to fight alone 15 years against all old idiot s odds with same tempo and attitude. The real unleashed version of Jagan has been witnessed during this Mahabobad episode. Jagan coming out of shadow fathter foot prints , lets have the gut of support no matter what I strongly endorse Jagan path.

    YSR stands for credibility and keeping promise ,YSJagan will be 1000 times than YSR in this aspect. What central congress did to the credibility of JAgan ? Does this mean he is a liar or what ?

    So called prnab mukharjee or Ahmad patel can win how many MP seats one or two ? is there any guarantee that their family vote for them . YSR gave 33 MP seats single handedly ? Can anyone repeat this ?

    Jagan should give an opportunity to be central congress to retain their so called useless seniority by accepting for vodharpu yatra or not things will repeat.


  14. ABI says:

    I still belive that at any cost YSJ is gonna get his desired seat

  15. Another NTR Born says:

    Tell me Sudhir,What blunder that YS Jagan Mohan Reddy did.Consoling families also wrong thing.
    Rahul Gandhi can go to part of Mumbai where Shivsena given warning not to go.?
    Rahul Gandhi can go to part of UP where Mayawati given warning not to go.?Becasue he is a prince in Republic of India.Is nt it.Why media is running behind him.He is not sacrificing PM candidature as he know when ever he want ,he will get it.But YS Jagan,its not possible.

    But YSJagan should not go where as part time polictician KCR (Most of the time drunk and sleep)given a warning.?what a shame to our democracy.

    What is wrong in writing articles against Rosaiah in Sakshi as it gives good mileage to congress for next elections,if they choose different candidate other than Rosiah or YS Jagan as CM candidate.Dont Sonia know this.

    Mehububabad incident ,dont you know that based on Sonia’s orders only police did not stop the stone pelting by private goondas rented by Madhu/VH etc or TRS(a real telanganite wil not do such
    stupid things as im aslo telanganite ).Sonia wanted divide and rule.

    Oh GOD you made a mistake,NTR would have been alive ,then the sonia/delhi people would have seen the telugu power.This CBN wants Rosiah to be there til 2014 then he will get power easily thats
    why he is supporting or not fighting as a opposition leader.He failed as opposition leader.

    Jagan should come out from congress(I) and take away all the congress cadre and members from panchayat level to state level but not Leaders to congress(YS).Leader can be emegrged from people.Do the same hard work what his father did in inside congress,it may take 10 years to become CM but all next telugu generations will not suffer from Delhi ruling and congress will go away from our state.Learn lessons from Tamilnadu,Tamilnadu yestarday is making song on Tamil Integration where as we Telugus fighting ourselves and giving ruling to delhi.

    YS Jagan “The another NTR.”

    After all we are TELUGUS/South Inidians.

  16. Serenity Stupidity says:

    Hi TS, I was just reading again this post, wherein you had mentioned Pawar and Mamta. I was surprised to find soo many new responses, than at that time. But one pattern remains : all readers, were writing own blogs about their own inclinations as response to your blog; no problem with that, after all , you are wanting to be a WatchPerson from media, and want ppl to think. But one thing is missing : No one seems to talk about Democracy OF the People, BY the People, FOR the People. Are leaders for people, or people for leaders ???? Of course, even this is not new; this is the root of all problems in India, despite vast growth of communication media. But I still, would continue talking about We The People, on a larger picture, and focus on smallest of things possible, as subjects of change : Like better traffic, on lines of USA, and better taking care of the most vulnerable : Like Rajitha…..I hope, I would have your support and understanding….Dear Uma, if you see this, Kindly mention this to to TS too ! Thanks 🙂

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